If you’ve watched any behind the scenes footage of big-scale shoots involving cars, you probably saw a camera vehicle knocking around somewhere. Perhaps something like a Mercedes ML or a Porsche Cayenne, because a fast SUV is an ideal base to mount a ruddy great camera rig onto.
But what if you want to film something really, really fast, and actually keep up? You give a bloke called Mauro a call.
Mauro Calo is a pro driver known for his work in both the film industry and in the motoring world. As well as being more than a little handy behind the wheel, he operates what might just be the ultimate camera car, as it’s based on a Nissan GT-R.
Nissan helped Calo source a suitable R35 for the job - a post-2011 facelift GT-R, meaning its good for 537bhp. A custom-made, part-carbonfibre camera gimble hangs from a tubular exoskeleton, which is bolted directly to the crash structure for ultimate stability.
The mounting points on the car allow for the camera to be rigged up at either the front or rear. Changing ends takes about 20 minutes, Calo says. Like most camera vehicles, the GT-R is finished in matte black to absorb light - the last thing you want is a shiny car appearing in the reflection of whatever’s being filmed.
When the R35 is in action, all four seats will often be occupied. Calo drives and the camera operator rides shotgun, with the director and a focus puller sitting in the rear chairs.
Nissan itself hired Calo and the GT-R to film…another GT-R, actually - the 2020 Nismo version, which was shot at the Lausitzring in Germany for a promotional video.